From the bride, Madi: We wanted to keep the day very natural and elegant. We also wanted to play off the simplicity and elegance of greenery. The décor was all a natural wood color with eucalyptus as the accent. My little sister added a soft feminine touch with her calligraphy and lettering. I absolutely loved our décor because it was all made by our families. It made the wedding feel so personal and intimate.
Our color palette was cream, white, green and light blush.
It rained all afternoon and gave me a slight heart attack because the ceremony was scheduled to occur outside. However, the clouds parted right as the ceremony was to begin and the rain held off until we drove off at the end of the night!
The ceremony was located in a field called “Grace’s Chapel.” The altar is located under this giant tree and looks out towards the foothills. It is absolutely stunning. We had our pastor from my church growing up marrying us. We also had our sisters read verses during the ceremony. My favorite memory was saying our vows to one another. It felt like it was just him and I in that moment. We wrote our own vows and also said some traditional vows. It was perfect for us.
During our ceremony, we planned to take communion. They had the wine all set at the outside ceremony site. However, because it had been raining all day the wine had accumulated a bunch of sticks and leaves in it! So, they poured it out before the ceremony and had planned to refill it right before it started. However, if you have ever been to a wedding, you know that right before can be somewhat craziness with all the nerves and excitement. So, when the ceremony started, the wine cup was still empty! When it came time for communion, our Pastor laughed and casually whispered in our ear to just pretend like we were drinking the wine. I remember giggling under my breathe as I watched Noah act like he was drinking the wine.
We made wooden boxes for the centerpieces and stained them to get a natural worn wood color. In the boxes we had three different sized vases with simple white candles in them and eucalyptus threaded throughout the candles. We used the extra wood as our table number signs. My little sister designed the table number signs with her amazing calligraphy.
My mom made a big marquee “d” (our new last name is Drake) that sat by the fireplace mantel at our reception.
Coffee beans in personalized bags.
The best advice that I received during our engagement was to embrace the imperfections. The imperfections are what makes the stories rich and memorable and totally and completely ours. Embrace the imperfections of everything! God has your day and your marriage under control, so just enjoy the day like it’s a gift!
Photographer: Melissa Yocum Photography // Caterer: Occasions Catering Denver // Floral Designer: Petals Lakewood // Wedding Gown Designer: Hailey Paige // Bridesmaid Dresses: Lauren Conrad // Men’s Wear: Combatant Gentlemen // Veils and headpieces: Sara Gabriel Veiling & Headpieces // Venue: Spruce Mountain Ranch
From the bride, Heidi:
WHY COLORADO: I spent a lot of time in the Silverthorne area growing up during ski season and in Breckenridge in the summers. Mac took a trip to the area with friends in college and it’s where he fell in love with mountains. It was great to find a location that had sentimental meaning for both of us.
THE STYLE: I wanted to compliment the beauty of Colorado and the mountains with a lot of natural colors and tons of plant greenery because I love plants. I also just wanted a timeless look; something that would be beautiful for years and years.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT: I really loved our first look. It was exciting and also calming to see Mac for the first time. I feel like it broke the ice and allowed me to just relax and enjoy the whole day.
THE CEREMONY: Our ceremony was held in a field with the gorgeous Rocky Mountains as our backdrop, big open sky, and lots of trees; the location really felt secluded. The aisles were decorated with tree rounds cut to various heights with lanterns on top. Mac’s dad married us and gave a wonderful message. Every part of the ceremony just felt so personal.
FUN MEMORY: On our walk down the aisle as a newly married couple Mac stopped and kissed me and then carried me the rest of the way. That was pretty cute and got a nice crowd reaction.
THE RECEPTION: We had the reception was at the Silverthorne Pavilion, which is already beautiful. All we did was decorate each guest table with ivory tablecloths, trailing greenery, lanterns, and candles.
THE CAKE: I loved our cake, which was decorated with a mountain and tree outline. It tasted SO good! I had my brother bring me a few extra pieces after we’d made our exit because I wanted to eat more!
ADVICE: It’s possible to have a really amazing and perfect day with a short period of planning. We got engaged in February and married in July and we were able to get everything done and set up in a relatively short period of time. We were just so excited about being married and the wedding is only one day. Don’t get me wrong it’s the BEST day, but I think it’s just as important to plan and get excited for the marriage as it is for the wedding.
Also, I recommend having a social time prior to the wedding, especially if you have a lot of out-of-town guests (or you yourself are coming from out of town). We opened a period of time after our rehearsal dinner to invite anyone who was around to come hang out. It just took a lot of the stress off the wedding day because people already had some time to mingle with us. Mac and I didn’t feel like we were being bombarded with people at the wedding.
Cassie & Brent | May 23rd | Boulder, Colorado
From the bride: We chose Boulder for our wedding because we fell in love with the history and charm of Chautauqua Park. It is one of our favorite places to take a quick hike and grab a delicious bite to eat at Chautauqua Dining Hall.
I made bouquet charms that hung with ribbon on my bouquet. Each ribbon held a small vintage frame with a picture of both my grandfather and my grandmother that had passed in the past few years.
Our wedding style was light, airy, floral, with outdoorsy flair. Our colors were rose pinks, floral greens, taupe, and white.
It had rained all day long, but luckily the rain stopped just before the ceremony. As my dad and I turned the corner around the tree to walk up the aisle, the clouds parted and the sun came out for the first time in a week. I remember seeing Brent standing up front, with the beautiful Flat Iron mountains in the background, and thinking this was the best day of my life.
Our reception was at the Chautauqua Dining Hall in Chautauqua Park. It is a gorgeous historic building that is overflowing with charm. The dining hall is a beautiful cape-cod style building with a huge wrap around porch, complete with rocking chairs and a welcoming homey feel.
Each table for guests was decorated with wildflowers in a vintage mason jar, paired with lit lanterns, surrounded by branches and pine cones.
I loved our first dance to “It Never Entered My Mind” by Miles Davis. It was a time for Brent and I to truly soak in the moment and spend a quiet second together.
My advice: Embrace wedding planning and don’t be afraid to let others help when they ask to!
Cassie’s RECOMMENDED VENDORS
Photographer: Chris McLaughlin, cmp studios. Highly recommended!!! We were amazed at beautiful the wedding pictures turned out. Chris also made taking pictures a blast with his sense of humor, and less tiresome with his efficiency of taking the photos.
Event Planner: Leah Colby with La Dolce Events. Highly recommended!!!! Leah made our wedding what it was- a beautiful, fun, and flawless day! She was a life saver in the planning process and we couldn’t have done this wedding without her!
Venue: Chautauqua Park. I would recommend because of the stunning backdrop of the Flat Iron Mountains and their event staff was always willing to help out during the planning process.
Band/Musicians: Joe Smith & The Spicy Pickles. Recommended as a wonderful Jazz/Swing/Big Band. They played original songs and had a great combination of funky/dance songs and slower songs. They were an incredibly fun addition to our reception- we are so glad we went with a band over a DJ!
Pie: The Huckleberry. We had the most incredible Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie, and Strawberry Rhubarb pie.
Florist: Sturtz & Copeland. Very highly recommended! We worked with Lisa and she was absolutely amazing. I told her my style and what I was looking for, and she came up with all of the flower arrangements, which were spot on.
Guest Lodging: Renaissance Flat Iron Hotel in Broomfield. Fabulous at making us feel welcomed and attending to our guests. They even gave Brent and I free breakfast at their restaurant every morning- pancakes were to DIE for!
Honeymoon Location: Placencia, Belize
Valerie & Sergio | June 22nd | Beaver Creek, Colorado
From the bride: We were fortunate to have a beautiful Colorado bluebird day as all of our festivities were outdoors. The day was a roller coaster of emotions, anxiety and excitement.
Our ceremony was comical, right from the beginning there were laughs. My veil got stuck on the stone steps of the wedding deck as I was walking down the aisle. I couldn’t get Sergios’ ring on his finger and just before our “I do’s” my veil took flight and my MoH had to jump up in the air to catch it.
My favorite moment was our “I Do’s” and kissing my husband for the first time. We had been together for 9 years through lots of ups and downs and it just felt so good to become husband and wife. I know it sounds corny, but I felt an instantaneous gravity shift. He’s my partner for life and it’s us vs anything that comes our way.
Apart from the ceremony, my favorite moment was walking into our cocktail hour. The day was so sunny, the sky was that deep, deep blue you only get in the mountains of Colorado, our jazz band was playing beautiful swing music and to see all our guests playing lawn games and socializing was just breathtaking.
Since we live in NJ, our animals were not able to be with us so we created a photo of our 2 cats and our 9 month old puppy to accompany the guest book. The animals were not pleased about being forced to pose for the picture so it came out with very stern expressions on them all. It was cracking me up every time I looked at it during the reception.
We had beautiful, long log centerpieces with moss, succulents and mixed white flowers in mercury glass atop chevron table runners in grey and white.
Our travels and ethnic backgrounds influenced our menu. We wanted to share foods we loved and snippets from our travels with our guests.
Our pets were featured on our “dia de los muertos” wedding cake topper. The wedding topper inspiration came from our trip to Mexico, where we got engaged on top of the Sun pyramid at Teotiuhuacan (which my husband likes to joke, where people were once decapitated) and was a nod to my heritage on my mother’s side.
I loved our first dance. Sergio had an amazing smile on his face and twirling around alternating views of the mountains and the beautiful facade of the Ritz was surreal.
Looking back, the reception was over so quickly. The whole day passed in the blink of the eye.
My advice: Enjoy the engagement and keep focused on the end game, i.e. being a family with your husband. Certainly pay attention to the details and make the day your own. Recognize that things will go wrong, but in hindsight they’ll be minor. Don’t ruin your mood or your fiancé’s in the months leading up to the wedding or the day of by stressing over little things. Talk to someone who got married recently for guidance. If you don’t know someone in your immediate circle, crowd source it. People love talking about their weddings and I’d be happy to talk for an hour if I could save anyone some stress in their wedding planning process.
Valerie’s RECOMMENDED VENDORS
Photographer: Casie Zalud Photography & Alison Vagnini Photography // Ceremony Site: Beaver Creek Wedding Deck // Reception Site & Caterer: Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch // Event Planner: Feather & Twig // Event Design, Flowers & Favors: Bella Lu Floral // Event Design: Lighting & Design by Scott // DJ: J.M. Hyatt Entertainment // Band: Peneplain Jazz Project // Invitations: Tasha Rae Designs // Hair & Makeup: Posh! Salon // Officiant: Reverend Dr. Robin A. Miller
Rebecca & Matt | August 31st | Monument, Colorado
From the bride: My goal was to have a soft, simple yet rustic wedding that incorporated our beautiful Colorado location. We wanted our friends and family from the east coast to feel like they were getting the true Colorado experience. My three inspiring words became simple, vintage, and well, Colorado.
I am a crafter. That being said, almost every aspect of our wedding was personalized.
The ceremony took place on a family friend’s property just feet away from their old and gorgeous red barn. It was the perfect place to create the eclectic outdoorsy feel we wanted. We decided to use a large amazing tree as our backdrop for the ceremony.
My Uncle, a wise man we both look up to, married us; his words of wisdom, encouragement, and truth from God’s word lead us through the ceremony.
My most memorable memory was when Matt and I took turns washing each other’s feet. We stopped and sat before each other to remind ourselves and the witnesses sitting before us, that we were committing to serving one another other in love. My sister and our two friends sang an acoustic and tear-jerking version of, “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz during this time.
We used burlap runners on the cream-colored table clothes, and lanterns filled with pinecones and glittered rocks. We used small vintage mint vases with baby’s breath to add pops of color through out the table. There was a wide array of tin buckets filled with baby’s breath and glittery willow twigs in vases.
Above the candy table we created a Mr & Mrs Stevens sign, and hung it with clothes pins and hemp.
One of my favorite details was the old oven cake display. Since Matt and I are not big cake lovers, we decided that we wanted my mother’s famous “Special K” bars, and just a small cake to cut. The homemade bars were an absolute hit.
My advice: Make the wedding your own. After telling my ideas like, having my mom’s special bars instead of cake, eating barbeque, and setting up a candy table for guests, to a few women who got married about 20-30 years ago, the one thing they said to me was, “I wish I had made my wedding my own.” Let your wedding shine on your personality and your relationship. In the end, it is about you and your spouse joining in a life long covenant, and celebrating with your closest friends and family.
Rebecca & Matt
Photographer: Andrea Dahlberg Photography. She was AMAZING. Andrea and her family has been some of our closest family friends for a very long time, so I knew I could trust her and her artistic ability to shoot our special day. She captured the full emotion of the day, and created keepsakes that we will hold dear until the day we die.
Caterer: Front Range Barbeque. Unbelievable food. I would definitely recommend them to anyone who wants authentic good food to fit a barn setting. We had people coming up to us all night saying how amazing the food was. The staff was very easy to work with and did anything they could to help us with the day.
Rachel & Brent | June 29th | Silverthorne Pavilion
From the bride:
We decided that anything we did had to be a reflection of “our” taste, not just one or the other. So we had a sit-down together to discuss and came out of it looking for a venue in the mountains (we are both huge outdoor enthusiasts), that had an outdoor ceremony site, and that felt intimate and down-to-earth. We ended up loving the Silverthorne Pavilion. It had the added perk of being a really cool vacation destination, and since most of our guests were from out of town, we thought that would show them a good time.
We are both really into climbing (that’s how we met), biking, hiking, and camping, so we went for a mix of rustic and contemporary. All of the details were nature-inspired, but the overall picture was contemporary.
The actual day was rainy, literally right up until 10 minutes before the ceremony! Then it just stopped and the sun came out for the rest of the day.
One of my favorite elements was in the ceremony, we had our families add stones to create a cairn (a sort of guidepost made out of stones that climbers, hikers, and bikers use) to symbolize their guidance in our lives.
The biggest handmade DIY project was our escort cards. The tables were named after Colorado 14’ers, and the seating card was a topographical map of the mountain you were sitting at, overlaid with your name and tagged with a carabiner since we met climbing. Brent and his dad put together this awesome hanging display.
We made the wildflower seed envelopes for the favors.
The guestbook was river stones that guests could write on and throw in a bell jar.
My biggest advice is work with your budget. I made the mistake of starting to spend without portioning out money, and so the things that came first in planning are the ones that saw the most money. That meant that it got hard to work on things that came later, like the bar! My other advice is don’t get too involved in pinning, at a certain point you need to go out and see what’s actually available for your wedding and budget, and that’s way more fun than pinning!